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Five Ways to Support Sex Education Facilitators Outside the Training Space

Here are five ways you can support sex ed facilitators outside of the training space. It’s important to know their feelings and offer customized support!

Caricature of Valerie Sedivy

By Valerie Sedivy, PhD

February 21, 2019

Training is a great way to build comfort and competence among sex education facilitators. But a single training doesn’t always leave everyone feeling fully prepared to deliver sex ed. This is understandable when you consider the wide range of skills needed to be a fully competent facilitator. It’s great to share your contact information in case people want follow up support, but there are better ways to make sure you are meeting the needs of facilitators.

Someone who is comfortable talking about healthy relationships might be nervous about demonstrating condom use, or vice versa.

Make a point of finding out how each facilitator is feeling at the end of the training. Give them a way to individually document and share with you their comfort and confidence across a whole range of topics. Someone who is comfortable talking about healthy relationships might be nervous about demonstrating condom use, or vice versa. Reach out to anyone who reports that they are anything less than fully comfortable or competent and offer customized support.

Here are five ways you can support sex ed facilitators, once they leave your training space:

  1. Co-Teaching: Offer to co-teach with them the first time they facilitate, or strategically pick a few sessions to co-teach.
  2. Observations: Arrange for them to observe an experienced (and competent) facilitator during a session covering one of the ‘trickier’ topics.
  3. Check-Ins: Find out the date they will be starting to implement sex education and reach out immediately after it starts. Make a plan to check in with them at strategic intervals throughout their delivery.
  4. Continued Sharing: Create a ‘hot tip of the week’ series and share it via email. Keep a log of these tips and host them on your organization’s website or private portal. Facilitators especially love sample answers to questions asked by young people.
  5. Network: Create a list of trusted community partners who can support facilitators with specific sessions or just provide advice. If possible, invite representatives from a few of these organizations to introduce themselves during a training.

And finally: remember to use what you learn from supporting facilitators outside the training space to refine the next training.

Valerie is Director of Capacity Building and Evaluation at Healthy Teen Network, and if you’re looking for training or support, she will be your first point of contact. Her passion is helping you figure out what you need (and what you don’t), and in finding creative and feasible ways to meet those needs. Read more from Valerie